Book Lovers

Girls of Riyadh book cover; gold embroidered lights surrounding the title in bright red
The Girls of Riyadh
Rajaa Alsanea

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a woman in Muslim-dominated Saudi Arabia? The Girls of Riyadh follows the lives of 4 young women from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, whose exploits and emotions are exposed through a secret friend’s email group (the book is set in 2004). It delves into many of the double standards women face at the hands of men, especially in terms of love. Gamrah is forced into an arranged marriage by her family, only to learn that the man she marries is in love with someone else. Gamrah, though, is treated like the outcast in Saudi society while her ex-husband is free to marry his true love. Most of the chapters are short but clever, like a 30 minute Sex in the City episode. Many of the characters are well off but tied to the cultural and religious standards of the country, which can mean interrogation by the Cultural (i.e. religious) Police for something as innocent as meeting a young man for coffee. This book is recommended read for anyone seeking a contemporary look into the lives of modern Muslim women.

Jun 27, 2013
Dan Brown

Famed art historian/professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a Florence, Italy hospital with no memory of how or why he got there.  Soon there are people who are out to kill him and his doctor Sienna.  Langdon's clues to what has happened in the past two days lies in a cryptic message referencing Dante's great work, Inferno.  Can he figure out who to trust and what ne needs to do in less than 24 hours??? 

Jun 1, 2013
The Stranger
Camilla Lackberg

A reality television show is being filmed in town and when one of its stars is found dead Patrick Hedstrom and his co-workers are on the case.  He also needs to investigate the apparent drunk driving death of a local woman that seems too suspicious to be suicide.  Ties to similar unsolved cases suggest that possibly a serial killer could be on the loose. 

May 28, 2013
The Day is Dark
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Thora and her boyfriend Matthew are sent to Greenland to investigate why the employees of a mining company refuse to return to work.  Could it have something to do with the unsolved disappearances of three co-workers or the ancient belief that the land is cursed?

May 8, 2013
Helsinki Blood
James Thompson

Kari Vaara is in pain, both physically and emotionally.  HIs body has been broken and his wife has left him after the traumatic events of his last case.  Now someone is trying to kill him.  Vaara is on a mission to get his wife back and stop an international immigrant/prostitution ring while keeping himself and his cohorts alive.

May 8, 2013
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley, the author of French Milk, is back and better than ever.  So many books are being published today warning about the dangers of food.  In this graphic memoir, Knisely celebrates the joys and importance of food throughout her life.  Each chapter even ends with an illustrated recipe.  This book is a lot of fun to read and is guaranteed to make you want to rush into the kitchen and get cooking.

May 6, 2013
David Wong
This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
David Wong

Dave and John are back in this sequel to the popular sci-fi/horror/comedy John Dies at the End. Dave wakes in the middle of the night to find a spider monster gnawing on his leg, and everything spirals out of control from there. Soon enough, the citizens of Undisclosed (Dave included) are quarantined thanks to a deadly virus that turns its victims into monstrous abominations.  John, Amy, and Molly the dog must devise a plan to free Dave and rescue the remaining citizens of Undisclosed before the army obliterates the city. This sequel is just as fun as the original.

Apr 11, 2013
The Open Door: 100 Poems 100 Years of Poetry Magazine
Don Share, Christian Wiman, editors

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of America's most popular poetry journal, current Poetry magazine editors Don Share and Christian Wiman put together 100 of the "best" poems to grace their esteemed journal's pages. The poetry here is certainly of the Modernist variety (and the editors make no bones about that in their introduction) and contains some of the more anthologized poetry of the last 100 years, including Ezra Pound's "In a Station at the Metro", T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", Robert Creeley's "For Love", and James Wright's "The Blessing". But they also include poems that are more of the lost classics by past master variety, like Theodore Roethke's "Florist Root Cellar," Wallace Stevens "Tea at the Palaz of Hoon", and Sylvia Plath's "Fever 103". Also included is a fair amount of contemporary works, including gems by Laura Kasischke, Lucille Clifton, and Craig Arnold. This journal has seen all of the greats of modernist poetry over the last 100 years and, if you're a fan or a casual observer, this collection is a great way to re-engage with the greats and introduce yourself to some new practitioners. Note: these poems can also be found at the Poetry Foundation's great website, (which also has a wonderful blog and many great articles on past and contemporary poets).

Apr 9, 2013
Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
Michael Moss

Michael Moss investigates the growth and domination of the processed food industry from it's humble beginnings to it's current manipulative state and it's connection to obesity.  Through adding increasing amounts of salt, sugar, and fat, the largest processed food companies got us addicted to their products.  Moss takes us into factories, food science and brain science laboratories, schools, and corporate board rooms to show us how we got to where we are.  With in depth research using examples of some of the most popular foods out on the market, Moss also shows us how we do have a choice and how we can fight back against these manipulations.

Apr 7, 2013
Kristina Ohlsson

The police at the Stockholm CID special cases unit have enough going on in their own personal lives when the case of an apparent murder-suicide of a clergyman/activist and his wife is assigned to them.  Added to this is the hit and run killing of an unidentified man.  As the detectives investigate the killings they're not convinced of the suicide angle.  Could it be part of a refugee smuggling operation gone wrong? 

Apr 5, 2013

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